An article from the October 7, 2006 BBC News in the United Kingdom reports on a survey study listing the 5 top jobs most likely to cause back issues among workers in the United Kingdom. The list, compiled and published by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has some surprising findings.
The study conducted by the BCA surveyed 2,374 people, found that 59% of the working population, in the top category at risk for back problems, sit down all day. Many of these people do not leave their desks even for a lunch break. This sedentary lifestyle coupled with positioning and long hours puts office workers at a higher risk than the excessive lifting and carrying done by those employed in manual jobs. The top five list as released by the British Chiropractic Association is as follows:
- Office Worker – Long periods of time sitting in awkward positions, often slouched over computer keyboards, or maybe sitting at chairs not properly adjusted for their needs.
- Nurse – Long shifts, often on their feet all day as well as lifting and carrying.
- Driver – Hours a day spent at the wheel, sitting in a poor position, along with limited movement.
- Laborer – Repeated strain from lifting heavy weights and often twisting in awkward positions.
- Teacher & Nursery Staff – Continuously bending down to a child’s height and lifting children can cause back problems
Dr. Tim Hutchful speaking for the BCA comments: “This survey has highlighted what we chiropractors have known for some time. Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll. It is assumed that those most at risk from back pain are the ones who have very physical jobs however, as this research has unveiled, whilst lifting and carrying are still common triggers for back pain, it is those with less physically demanding jobs and who are often seated for the majority of the day that could be most prone to back problems.”
According to the BCA, one third of UK citizens will suffer from some sort of back problem. Dr. Hutchful added: “For many who work in an office environment, it is the day-to-day, mundane routines that are at the root of most back problems. Hunching over computer keyboards and cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder can all contribute to lower back and neck stiffness, not to mention the fact that many office workers sit for hours at a time with very little movement.”